A little over a week ago, the terrible Taiji season finished for another year. Just because the capture and slaughter has finished, doesn’t mean we stop raising awareness and fighting for dolphins. There are many dolphins suffering in captivity and we need to help them!
The World Society of the Protection of Animals says that “53% of newly captured dolphins dies in the first 3 months”. This happens because of stress, unhealthy water and the dolphins being exposed to human infection. These dolphins are dying so that we can be ‘entertained’ and ‘have an amazing dolphin experience’.
One very popular way sea parks make their money is through swim with dolphin programs. There are many reasons why a life of captivity is bad for dolphins, (see here and here for reasons), and swim with dolphin programs just add to the list!
These ‘encounters’ are often advertised as being educational, where you can ‘shake hands with a dolphin’. Dolphins held in captivity are in an unnatural environment and there is nothing natural for the dolphin (or us) about shaking hands or kissing dolphins for a photo. Education is about learning facts and truths. You can learn a lot more by reading books and researching the internet.
It might surprise some uninformed people to know that dolphins are being forced to participate in these swim programs, just like they are being forced to do silly tricks for the public. Trainers deprive the dolphins of food as a way of making them shake hands, jump, balance a ball and kiss. The dolphins have no choice – no trick means no food. The dolphins cannot escape this life, they are prisoners and slaves.
Swim with dolphin programs are very stressful for the dolphins as they are being forced to ‘swim’ in shallow water and beach themselves so that paying customers can touch them. This behaviours are not natural for the dolphins and we shouldn’t be abusing them for our entertainment.